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 Thursday, April 01, 2010
Silicon cockroaches, 'dirty' IPv4 addresses and other Internet oddities
The world's leading Internet engineers see many surprising trends occurring under the covers of this complex network environment. Among their findings are the evolution of silicon cockroaches — tiny, mobile, unattended wireless devices — and "dirty" Internet address space that can't be used by network operators. Here are a few eye-openers about what’s really going on in the Internet infrastructure that were discussed at a meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) held in Anaheim last week.

Watch out for silicon cockroaches. Network operators should prepare for an infestation of silicon cockroaches, a term used to describe Internet-connected devices such as mobile sensors, bio-medical systems and RFID-powered asset trackers that operate without human administration. Aaron Falk, chair of the Internet Research Task Force, listed silicon cockroaches as a key factor in the Internet becoming a network of things, rather than a network of computers, in the future. Falk said 15 billion devices could be hooked up to the Internet by 2015, a figure that will be "orders of magnitude bigger" than the number of Internet-connected people. Silicon cockroaches pose several threats to network operators, including naming, security and management headaches that require additional research, Falk said.

 

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